Good morning! Here areyour headlines from around regional Australia and beyond. Scroll down and refresh for weather, news and more.
WA Brekkie Blog | Friday, December 30, 2016 The images are of drugs related to the recent incidents and show the powder contained inside a capsule. Photo: WA Police.
TweetFacebookWA |Hospitalisations spark drug warningWA Police, ChemCentre and health authorities have issued a warning after two men suffered life threatening reactions to illicit drugs.
Two of the men, aged between 20 and 29-years-old, were critically unwell and received emergency treatment after inhaling a combination of powdered substances which they mistakenly believed was MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.
ESPERANCE |Detectives target drug dealers and couriersEsperance detectives have targeted drug dealers and couriers over the Christmas break, by seizing drugs and charging people through executing multiple misuse of drug act warrants.
With assistance from Esperance Police multiple people have been charged.|detectives target drug dealers and couriers
BUSSELTON | Southbound festival day three | PHOTOSSouthbound went off with a bang for its final day of bringing stellar national and international acts to Busselton. Check out the photos here.
MANDURAH |Council pooh-poohs objections to new toiletsVisitorsusing trees and low-lying bush to relieve themselves near Northport Beach, Wannanup,prompted council to approve the installation of a new toilet facility in the reserve on Tuesday last week.
Regional newsLAUNCESTON | Falls pill-testing trial pushHarm Reduction Australia says Tasmania could offer a pill-testing service at Falls Festival as a trial that other states could follow.
The organisation’s president, Gino Vumbaca, said he would love to see Tasmania lead the way on the issue, which has been a hot topic nationwide in the lead-up to festival season.
Harm Reduction Australia wants Tasmania to lead the nation in a festival pill-testing trial. Picture: Scott Gelston
ULLADULLA |South Coast men face court after biggest cocaine bust in Australian historyTwo South Coast men are among 15 arrested in connection to an alleged multi-million dollar drug syndicate importing cocaine via Sydney’s iconic fish markets and other NSW ports.
Michael Pirrello, 33, and Francesco Pirello, 39, were arrested in Ulladulla and refused bail in Nowra Local Court on Thursday.
AFP officers stand guard over some of the 500kilo cocaine seized during the Christmas Day bust. Picture: Kate Geraghty
BENDIGO | Victoriabracingfor January 1 power price hikeVictorians could pay an average of $230 a year more for their combined electricity and gas bills in 2017 as a price hike comes into effect from January 1.
Consumers are being urged to shop around to avoid price gouging, with the bulk of the electricity price rise blamed on the looming closure of the Hazelwood power station.
Expect to pay more.
BALLARAT | Region’s road toll highest in 20 yearsRoad authorities are making a last minute New Year plea to drivers to stop the region’s road toll, which is the worst in 20 years, from further increasing.
This year the combined Ballarat, Moorabool, Hepburn and Pyrenees government arearecorded 21 road fatalities –more than four times higher than in 2015.
Be safe, plead police.
TAMWORTH | First buskers arrive in country music capitalFrom the Kimberley to Tamworth. Pete Brandy and John Till of BackRoadshave arrived in Tamworth before the Country Music Festivalto sink their teeth into Tamworth’s city’s music atmosphere.
With just over 20 days to go until the big event kicks off, Brandy said locals could check out BackRoads in the city’s main street, and he invited them to come along and listen to the traditional styles of country music including Johnny Cash and Noel Haggard.
Pete Brandy from the Kimberley with David Alexander of Cheapa Music in Tamworth on Thursday. Photo: Simon McCarthy
NOWRA | Sharks swarm Hyams BeachA NSW Department of Primary Industries helicopter took an amazing aerial photograph of a large number of whaler sharks on Thursday. The twitter account @NSWSharkSmarttweeted a picture of 17 whaler sharks in shallow water off Hyams Beach, Jervis Bay about 9:30am.
A aerial photograph of 17 whaler sharks in shallow water at Hyams Beach. Photo: Twitter – @NSWSharkSmart
Just because …You’ve been at work all week? Be like this on Friday:
— The Ministry of GIFs (@GIFs) December 29, 2016National newsJulie Bishop backs Israel rather than the US over UN resolution
Australia has broken ranks with the United States and New Zealand over Israel, indicating that it would most likely have opposed the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israelisettlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Julie Bishop said the government had ”consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel”. Photo: Andrew Meares
January 1 price rises and benefit cuts: what you need to know
They say life can change in an instant. Never is that more true than when the clock strikes midnight on December 31.
Along with hangovers and dark circles under their eyes, Australians will awake on Sunday to a host of increased fees, charges, changed regulations and reduced benefits.
Australians will awake on Sunday to a host of increased fees, changed regulations and reduced benefits. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer
Federal government spends record amount on digital advertising
The federal government spent a record amount on digital advertising in Australia last financial year, with growth in spending on new platforms outpacing all traditional media except for television.
Spending to promote the Turnbull government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda cost $14.9 million. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
National weather radarInternational newsIndonesian police point to Islamic State after 2016 spike in terrorism cases
Indonesia’s police chief has attributed a sharp rise in the number of alleged terrorists handled by his force to the influence of Islamic State and the defeats it is experiencing in the Middle East.
The number of alleged terrorists dealt with by Indonesian police in 2016 was more than double the previous year, as ISencouraged terror cells to carry out attacks beyond Syria.
An Indonesian policeman stands guard in front of a blast site in the aftermath of the January 14 Jakarta attacks. Photo: Getty Images
ASX bounces off early losses to clock new 2016 highs
Shares rallied off early losses to send the benchmark top 200 index to new 2016 highs and within a whisker of 5700 points, as strength in resources names and the big banks outweighed losses in listed property and utility sectors.
A poor lead from Wall St made for a difficult start to the second last trading session for the year, made even trickier as a host of listed trusts traded without the rights to their shareholder payouts.
Continued strength in commodity prices has buoyed the ASX. Photo: Rio Tinto
On this day | December 301703Tokyo hit by Earthquake; about 37,000 die
1924AstronomerEdwin Hubbleformally announces existence of other galactic systems at meeting of the American Astronomical Society
1992 Shane Warne takes 7-52 to lead Australian MCG win vs. West Indies